6.8m people played the Ghost Recon Wildlands beta, looking to travel to distant Bolivian vistas, encounter the local populace and er… shoot them. One group of players less into this drug-filled interpretation of Bolivia is the Bolivian government, who’ve lodged a formal complaint against the Ubisoft title at the French Embassy in Bolivian capital La Paz.
Speaking to Reuters, Bolivian interior minister Carlos Romero didn’t rule out the future possibility of legal action against the publisher, saying "we have the standing to do it, but at first we prefer to go the route of diplomatic negotiation."
Ghost Recon Wildland’s story is fictional but has some basis in reality. The Santa Blance cartel in the game is fictional, and it’s also fictional that Bolivia is a country completely run by narcotics production. However, Bolivia are the third largest producer of coca leaves, which are the key part of cocaine production. Also bound to be contentious is the games assertation that American special forces operators are needed in Bolivia to resolve the drug issues due to widespread corruption on the behalf of a military Unidad faction implied to be the government. Pacto De Unidad is a political movement in Bolivia, known for being a close ally of current Bolivian president Evo Morales, although I wouldn’t like to draw any conclusions based on this myself.
As part of the marketing and production of Ghost Recon Wildlands in fact, Ubisoft commissioned a documentary entitled Wildlands which investigates the real-world impact of the all too real drug trade in both Bolivia and the continent of South America.
"The two are, essentially, very separate products," said Ubisoft’s UK marketing boss Mark Slaughter. "The documentary certainly deals with a very serious subject matter, so we have ensured that we’ve worked with a leading production team and figures with extensive knowledge of the regions featured in the documentary and the key individuals, who have lived in that world.
Ubisoft claim in a response that Bolivia was chosen solely for ""magnificent landscapes and rich culture." We’ll have more on this as it develop. Ghost Recon Wildlands launches next week, on March 7th.